Thank you all who participated in my Travel Quiz this year. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did creating it.
Our winner is Paul Wagner who answered 21 questions correctly. He wins a wonderful token of my appreciation along with the moniker, “2015 Travel Quiz Champion.” Congratulations Paul!
Okay – here are the answers..
#1: Where can you find the town named: Llanfairpllgwyngllgogerychwwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?
Answer: In Wales, of course.
#2: The states once referred to as the “Barbary Coast” are today informally known as “Greater Maghreb.” Which country is not a member of “Greater Maghreb?”
Answer: E) Egypt is not a part of Greater Maghreb. Meaning “Sunset” in Arabic, the Maghrebis were also known as the Moors.
#3: According to the latest statistics from Airports Council International (ACI) 2014 report, with over 96 million passengers traveling through, which was the world’s busiest airport in 2014?
B) Hong Kong
D) Los Angeles
Answer: C, Atlanta. That’s very busy.
#4: NATO – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is a political and military alliance made up of 28 countries dedicated to the common military protection of each other, as well as providing crisis management in times of emergency. One founding member of NATO however, has no standing army or navy. Which one?
Answer: Iceland, a founding member of NATO in 1949 joined upon the stipulation that it would never be forced to raise an army or navy. Such a deal.
#5: According to FAOSTAT – the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Statistical Division – which country produces the most Kiwi fruit on earth?
Answer. If you said New Zealand, you’d be wrong. At 447,560 tons in 2013, Italy is the world’s number one producer of Kiwi fruit.
#6: Where is the lowest point on earth, not covered by water?
A) In Israel, on the bank of its portion of the Dead Sea
B) In Jordan, on the bank of its portion of the Dead Sea
C) In Saudi Arabia, in a deep rift valley near the center of the country
D) In Antarctica, within a massive trench covered by ice
E) In Russia, in an ancient dry Siberian crater
F) Inside the Fox News control room
Answer: D, In Antarctica. At 8,382 feet below sea level, the Bentley Subglacial Trench in Antarctica is the lowest point on Earth that is not covered by water. It is covered by ice – but not water. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger.
#7: Which wine region contains the world’s tallest living tree?
Answer: Mendocino County, California is a fine wine growing region about 100 miles north of San Francisco. It also contains many majestic trees including a 370 tall coastal redwood, the world’s tallest. Mendocino produces some superb pinot noirs.
#8: Luggage has been around in one form or another since the dawn of man. Question: Where has the oldest know luggage tag been found?
A) An iron tag found in Chester, England that is believed to have belonged to a Roman solider is approximately 2,100 year old. It states that, “This is the property of Julius Candidus.”
B) Inside a cave near Lascaux France, a faint drawing of something that looked like a luggage tag was on a wall. It is approximately 17,300 years old.
C) Outside of Sofia, Bulgaria, ten stone markers were found in an ancient burial mound, dating from around 550 B.C. They look similar to modern luggage tags.
D) What appear to be the remnants of an iron and stone tag with holes for a possible leather straps was found near Kobe, Japan thought to be 2,800 years old.
E) A broken stone tag was found near the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, California, with the letters “F L I N T S…” still readable. Approximately 2,000,000 years old and still funny.
Answer: A, Julius Candidus’s tag was found in Chester, England.
#9: What does “Here Be Dragons” refer to?
Answer: The phrase refers to the ancient practice of putting dragons or other mythological sea creatures on unexplored portions of a map. Or terra incognita.
#10: Jerusalem’s Old City is divided into four walled quadrants. Name them.
Answer: The Jewish Quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Muslim or Arab Quarter and the Armenian Quarter.
#11: With ski season in mind – which is the only US state’s name that references snow?
Answer: Nevada, after the Spanish phrase Sierra Nevada meaning snow covered mountains. You knew that.
#12: Which one of these places is NOT real?
A) St. Louis du Ha! Ha!, Quebec, Canada
B) Cool, California
C) No One Lives Here, Mate, Australia
D) Toad Suck, Arkansas
E) Wookey Hole, England
F) Dead Man’s Flats, Alberta, Canada
Answer: C) No One Lives Here, Mate. Really, no one lives there. The others are all actual places.
#13: New York City was named New Amsterdam prior to its becoming New York City in 1664. However, for a brief period, New York was officially renamed. What was it called?
Answer: In 1673 the Dutch recaptured the city and named it New Orange. After about a year, the city went back in to British hands for good, due to the signing of the Treaty of Westminster, the city’s reverted to New York and the rest…is history.
#14: Geography and politics often end up producing strange maps. For instance, what do the seemingly dissimilar countries of Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein have in common?
Answer: Both Uzbekistan and Liechtenstein are double-landlocked countries. This means that those two countries are entirely surrounded by other landlocked countries.
#15: People the world over love their animals and sometime use them as state symbols. For instance the USA admires its bald eagle, Spain reveres the mighty bull and the Czech Republic is one of the countries that use a mythical animal (the double tailed lion) as its national symbol. One country even has an extinct animal as its national animal. Name the country and the animal.
Answer: The Indian Ocean country of Mauritius venerates the sadly extinct dodo bird.
#16: Which country has the lowest, high point on earth – at a scant 7 feet, 6.655 inches?
Answer: The Maldives. Climate change and rising oceans are of serious and imminent concern for people of The Maldives.
#17: Match the nickname to the country
Land of the Long White Cloud Albania
Land of Eagles Ethiopia
Land of Smiles South Korea
The Motherland Thailand
Land of the Morning Calm New Zealand
Land of the Midnight Sun Norway
Answer: Land of the Long White Cloud=New Zealand; Land of Eagles=Albania; Land of Smiles=Thailand; The Motherland=Ethiopia; Land of the Morning Calm=South Korea; Land of the Midnight Sun=Norway.
#18: Waterways make natural boundaries. Name the countries that are separated by these bodies of water.
A) Drava River
B) Coco River
C) North Channel
D) Rio Grande
E) River Plate
Answer: The Drava River forms a border between Croatia and Hungary; The Coco River is the watery boundary between Nicaragua and Honduras; The North Channel separates Ireland and Scotland; the Rio Grande flows between Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas and the River Plate is the large estuary that lies between Montevideo, Uruguay and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
#19: Ever get that lonely feeling? What is the most remote inhabited island in the world?
Answer: Tristan de Cunha Island, in the South Atlantic Ocean. A UK Overseas territory with less than 300 people, Tristan de Cunha is at least 1,200 miles from any other inhabited place.
#20: Which American City has two homonymic nicknames?
Answer: Rochester, New York. It is known as The Flour City and The Flower City.
#21: Renting a car and driving though a foreign land can be a fun adventure. According to the latest statistics from the United Nations World Health Organization, (WHO) which country is the safest in terms of fatal traffic accidents per 100,000 motor vehicles?
Answer: With a scant 4.4 fatal accidents per 100,000 vehicles, Norway had the least amount of any county. Apparently those Norwegians know how to drive.
#22: Cruising is more popular than ever. In 2014 a record number of travelers worldwide took a cruise. Approximately how many people cruised last year?
A) More than 21 million
B) More than 8.5 million
C) More than 17 million
D) More than 31.8 million
E) More than 12 million
Answer: A) According to CLIA – the Cruise Lines International Association, more 21 million people took a river or ocean cruise in 2014. Ahoy!
#23: Hong Kong is the world’s largest airport by cargo. In fact, I once visited the massive “Cathy City,” inside the Hong Kong Airport (HKG). Run by Cathy Pacific Airlines, it alone employs over 4000 people. Okay, where is the world’s second largest airport by cargo?
Answer: Memphis, Tennessee (MEM) is #2 in terms of cargo. Memphis is the home to Fed Ex. That’s a lot of packages.
#24: According to The International Pediatric Research Foundation, which country has the world’s tallest people?
Answer: E. The Dutch are the world’s tallest people and curiously also the world’s number one consumers of cheese.
#25: Punta Arenas is the very windy capital city of the southernmost region of Chile, not far from Cape Horn. Something happened one hundred and one years ago that forever changed the fortunes of Punta Arenas to its detriment. What was it?
Answer: The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. The important canal meant that ships did not need to travel all the way around Cape Horn to transit between Atlantic and Pacific ports. For instance, ships leaving New York bound for California saved nearly 8,000 miles of time and fuel by using the Panama Canal. Thus very few ships make the journey down to Punta Arenas today. The city is however, a jumping off point for fascinating Patagonian trips.
Bonus Question: Conventionally speaking, what are the only Transcontinental Countries? (Meaning countries in more than one continent – only contiguous parts of the country count. This does not include any overseas territories)
Answer: In alphabetical order: Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey.
How did you do?
21-25 correct answers = A worthy Captain Cook impersonator
16-20 correct answer = Very good
10-15 correct answers = Hit the books a little harder
9 or less correct answers = You really need to get out and see the world
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c. Bob Ecker 2015